Booming prices could be back for Sydney housing after highest monthly growth in two years

Booming prices could be back for Sydney housing after highest monthly growth in two years

01 OCT 2019

Cheap credit and a housing shortage have kickstarted another Sydney property boom, with prices growing at the fastest rate in more than two years and further increases on the way following today’s rate cut.

Figures released Tuesday revealed Sydney’s median home price grew 1.7 per cent over September — the fastest rate of growth since the tail end of the city’s last housing boom in June 2017.

It was the fourth consecutive month of growth in property values after the Reserve Bank’s landmark decision to cut the cash rate in June, according to CoreLogic’s latest hedonic home value index.

 

And with the RBA announcing a further rate cut today, taking the cash rate to 0.75 per cent, property experts are warning Sydney has entered a new boom.

‘We’re in uncharted waters,” SQM Research director Louis Christopher said.

“There is a new boom and the cut will only accelerate it. We’re expecting a very strong December quarter of sales.”

The median price of a Sydney property — including units, townhouses and detached houses — is now about $805,000, 3.6 per cent higher than it was in May, just before the four month market rally began.

The growth came on the back of a two-year downturn, which meant prices remain 11 per cent below their peak in July 2017, but Mr Christopher said Sydney housing was still “overvalued”.

“The new boom is starting from a point of overvaluation. This will pose some serious questions about how long the market can really go off for … regulators may need to step in.”

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said the recovery in Sydney’s housing market was taking a “V-shape”.

It was a similar situation in Melbourne, where prices grew 1.7 per cent over September and 3.4 per cent over the past quarter after a prolonged housing slump.

Bronte and Tamarama Beach aerial view Sydney NSW Australia
The Sydney recovery is being led by the upper end of the market.

When is the best time to sell or buy? Property cycles explainedPlay Video
2:13
“Economic and demographic conditions in NSW and Victoria continue to outperform most areas of the country,” Mr Lawless said.

“Population growth is higher, unemployment is lower and jobs growth is stronger, providing a solid platform for housing demand.”

Today’s move by the Reserve Bank could put additional strain on buyers, Mr Lawless said.

“There is a risk that lower interest rates could fuel a further rise in household indebtedness as housing credit picks up and investors once again become more active, while higher housing prices are likely to curb participation from first home buyers despite the lower cost of debt,” Mr Lawless said.

(It’s) been a key driver of increased buyer inquiry,” he said. “The other major driver, pushing up property prices over recent months, has been the low number of properties on the market for sale. Homeowners have been reluctant to list their properties due to the lack of choice to relocate.”

SQM Research figures released today showed total listing numbers were down 20.4 per cent from this time last year — usually the busiest time of the year for sales.

Another factor driving the strength in Sydney and Melbourne property markets could be higher levels of investor participation, Mr Lawless said.

Rate cuts could provide a further boost.

The latest housing finance data from the ABS (to the end of July) showed investors comprised 32 per cent of mortgage demand across NSW and 26 per cent of Victorian mortgage demand, which is higher relative to any of the other states or territories.

McGrath Estate founder John McGrath said the rate cuts would be welcomed by the real estate industry.

“Interest rates are a key driver of buyer confidence so today’s reduction in rates will be well received by the market,” he said.

High Clearance Rates & Buyer Confidence driving Inner West Property Market

High clearance rates and buyer confidence driving inner west property market

 Record low interest rates and the prospect of greater access to finance is driving a recovery in the inner west property market.
The growing optimism from buyers is seeing eight out of 10 homes now selling either prior or at auction every week in the inner west.

Over the past five weeks, the inner west has had an average clearance rate of 82.60 per cent, according to CoreLogic’s latest auction data.

MORE: Pub sales booming in Sydney’s inner west


The inner west suburb named one of Sydney’s top performers

Former ABC chairman lists Sydney home

This past weekend had the best clearance rate over the five week period with 87.87 per cent of all stock selling, while the weekend of June 24 had the lowest clearance rate of 76 per cent.

Home auction in East Lindfield

Eight out of ten homes in the inner west are either selling at or before auction. Tracey Nearmy/Sunday Telegraph

  

The renewed confidence appears to not only be sending clearance rates north, but also property prices.

REA data shows for the second month in a row growth to the inner west median sale price, with a 1 per cent jump in June. This is an improvement from May’s 0.1 per cent increase. The 1 per cent growth is the best increase in the Sydney region.

Richardson and Wrench chief auctioneer Peter Baldwin said inner west buyers are not only more confident but feel the market isn’t going to drop anymore.

“Buyers are eager to get in now as no one wants to miss out on the bottom,” he said.

Home auction in East Lindfield

Auctioneer Peter Baldwin believes property prices in the inner west are as low as they will go. Picture: Tracey Nearmy.

“I do believe we’ve hit the bottom of the market, and this has come more than a year ahead of when we expected prices to stop falling.”

How to winter proof your family home…

How to winter proof your family home

By Freya Herring | Presented by Dyson|

winter-proof your home
Winter is coming, and that means it’s time to hunker down

Winter is coming, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time to hunker down, grab a mug of something hot and tasty, and snuggle into that couch. But hold on there friend, there are a few things you need to do before you get too comfortable.

Here’s how to winter-proof your house for the season ahead – you’ll never feel more cosy in your life.

Warm up

It’s obvious, but important: you’re gonna need a heater. But don’t go and buy a cheap one that barely heats the room – you’ll end up having to buy another one next year, and the next year… Why not just buy a good one in the first place? Yep, the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool purifying fan heater heats your home to toasty perfection as well as clearing up the air. It’s basically a mum: a multitasking miracle worker that once you experience, you’ll never be able to replace.

Snuggle in

One of the best things about winter in Australia is the chance, after a hot summer, to get cosy. The best way to do it? A snuggly blanket. Go classic by investing in a 100% cashmere throw – yes, it will cost you, but you will have this blanket for the rest of your life. If it feels like too much of an extravagance though, go for one of the internet’s current faves, a weighted blanket, which have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Just try not to fall asleep (scrap that: napping is what winter is for).

Pyjama party

Nothing, and we mean nothing, says winter like a good set of pyjamas and movie night in front of the tele. As the nights start to draw in and the air cools down, buy everyone in your family pyjamas and get ready for cosy nights in. It almost makes winter worth it.

Clear the air

One of the problems in the Aussie winter is airflow – with all the windows closed, our homes can get muggy, so just imagine what the air quality is like in there? Luckily, those nifty Dyson engineers have come up with a solution, the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool. It captures 99.95% of fine particles, including harmful pollutants, so you can relax knowing the air in your home is as clean as it is when the doors are wide open in summer.

Candlelight

Many mass-produced candles can contribute to indoor air pollution, so look for more natural alternatives such as those made from essential oils and soy, beeswax, coconut wax or hemp oil. Your home will instantly feel warm and welcoming – plus those glowing glasses sure look pretty when darkness falls.

At Dyson, we insist on developing technology that works properly, without compromise on any functions. The Dyson Pure Hot+Cool™ purifying fan heater delivers fast and even room heating in winter, powerful fan cooling in summer and efficient purification through all seasons. The machine automatically detects airborne particles and gases and simultaneously reports to the LCD screen and Dyson Link app in real time, encouraging wellbeing and maintaining comfort levels in the home.

 

HOW TO GROW A HERB GARDEN IF YOU ARE RENTING

How to grow a herb garden if you live in a rental

Renters, we have good news: You don’t need to wait until you have a mortgage to produce your own produce, you can do it right now at your rental. Here’s how. 

6 tips to herb garden heaven
  

Have you been dreaming of growing your own herb garden, but waiting for your forever home to do so? We enlisted the expertise of Charlie Albone — the director of Sydney-based landscape design company, Inspired Exteriors — to find out exactly how you can successfully grow your very own kitchen garden at a rental property. And, of course, how you can create one that can move with you!

1. Use a large pot or raised garden bed

As a renter, it’s best to avoid planting anything valuable in the garden, or anything you would like to take with you to your next home. To grow a herb garden, Charlie suggests renters use either a large pot for herbs or a raised garden bed if you’d also like to grow larger produce such as vegetables. For the latter option, he recommends opting for steel structures.

“I would suggest a raised garden bed made of steel, rather than timber, because they are easier to construct as they generally clip together and are a lighter weight,” he says. Plus, they are easier to then deconstruct and transport. Charlie also recommends Vegepods — a raised garden bed kit that is self-watering, portable and complete with a greenhouse cover if you’d like to take the guesswork out of it.

mint for pest control

Create a garden that’s transportable by planting in large pots. Picture: Erinna Giblin

2. Sunlight

For the renters with no super sunny spots on offer, we hate to break it to you, but it will be very tricky to grow your own ingredients. “For the success of herbs and vegetables, they need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight,” explains Charlie. In short, you will require a balcony or garden that receives a very good dose of sunlight throughout the day.

More inspo: 9 awesome balcony garden ideas

growing oregano in pots

Herbs and vegetable plants need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight. Picture: Erinna Giblin

3. Use good quality soil

Charlie likens soil to a human’s diet and fertiliser to vitamins and supplements so it’s important to get the soil right. “Soil is really important so buy the most expensive potting mix you can afford,” he says. “Generally, the more expensive they are, the better they are and the more nutrients they contain.” For the raised garden beds and the Vedgepods, Charlie suggests adding organic compost as well — this could be compost from your everyday waste or you could purchase a bag of compost.

Green Space garden planting growing vegetables

Great soil is the starting point for any successful garden, big or small. Picture: Erinna Giblin

4. Water well

When growing herbs and vegetables in temporary structures like pots or raised garden beds, Charlie notes that the body of soil will dry out quicker from the outside in so be conscious as to where you plant each variety. “I would plant the water-loving plants like parsley and coriander in the centre of those beds and the dryer-loving ones such as rosemary on the outside,” he suggests. Both herbs and vegetables require regular watering — and more so in particularly hot conditions and in direct sunlight — so Charlie suggests watering them once a day.

Green Space garden planting growing vegetables

Pots or raised garden beds require more watering than gardens in the ground. Picture: Erinna Giblin

5. Consider seasonality

Charlie confirms that most herbs don’t grow in the winter months, but during the other warmer seasons they are bound to thrive. For best results, aim to plant your herb garden in the spring to give yourself the best chance to create — and consume — a blooming and blossoming kitchen garden.

water seeds

Aim to plant your herb garden in the spring. Picture: Erinna Giblin

6. Pest and disease management

One of the benefits of growing a herb garden at a rental property is the ease of pest and disease management. Typically, herb gardens in rentals would be smaller than those of homeowners which means you have less to look after, and as a result, it’s easier to manage pests and diseases. If you do need to treat your garden, Charlie suggests opting for organic options. “I’m always using organic matters or methods for pests and disease control, especially in a herb or vegetable garden because you are what you eat,” he explains.

growing herbs in rental

The good news is it’s easier to manage pests and diseases in herb gardens in rentals. Picture: Getty

How to Clean Chopping Boards

How to clean chopping boards

Many of us use chopping boards each and every day – therefore it’s important that you adopt the correct method to clean and disinfect your chosen style of chopping board to avoid cross-contamination. 

How to clean chopping boards
As the founder of The Organising Platform, I love helping homemakers simplify their clutter, organise their homes, and put a stop to disorganisation once and for all. A happy home is a clean one, so here are my tips for cleaning one of your most frequently used kitchen essentials: your chopping boards.

Cleaning with salt and lemon

Cleaning wooden chopping boards is simple as all you need is two ingredients: salt and lemon.

Step 1: Wash board

Wash your board in hot soapy water

Step 2: Disinfect

Disinfect by sprinkling a tablespoon of course salt over your board.

Step 3: Scrub board with lemon

Using a lemon cut in half, scrub the board for a few minutes. As you scrub, squeeze the juice out of the lemon – the acid in the lemon will disinfect the board.

cleaning chopping board

Using half a lemon, scrub the board for a few minutes, says Chelsea from The Organising Platform. Picture: Caroline McCredie

Step 4: Let sit for 5 mins

Let sit dampened for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Rinse

Rinse with hot water.

Step 6: Dry chopping board

Dry your chopping board thoroughly and stand in an upright position.

drying cutting board

Dry your chopping board and stand in an upright position. Picture: Caroline McCredie

Cleaning with bi-carb and salt

Cleaning plastic chopping boards is super simple too – all you need it some bi-carb soda and salt.

Step 1: Wash board

Wash your board in hot soapy water.

Step 2: Mix cleaning paste together

Mix together one tablespoon of bi-carb soda, one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of water to form a paste.

cleaning with bi carb and salt

Mix one tablespoon each of bi-carb soda, salt and water to form a paste. Picture: Caroline McCredie

Step 3: Scrub board

Scrub your chopping board with the paste.

Step 4: Rinse and dry

Rinse thoroughly with hot water then dry board and stand in upright position.

rinsing chopping board

Rinse thoroughly with hot water. Picture: Caroline McCredie

Cleaning with vinegar and dish detergent

Cleaning marble chopping boards requires two kitchen staple ingredients: vinegar and dish detergent.

how to clean marble chopping board

You just need vinegar and dish detergent to clean a marble chopping board. Picture: Caroline McCredie

Step 1: Wash board

Wash marble board in hot soapy water.

Step 2: Create a DIY cleaning mixture

Create a mixture of warm water, white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of liquid dish detergent and add into a spray bottle. Shake to combine all ingredients.

DIY cleaning mixture

White vinegar and 2 tsp liquid dish detergent make the perfect DIY cleaning mixture for marble chopping boards. Picture: Caroline McCredie

Step 3: Spray onto board

Spray solution directly onto the marble chopping board then let sit for 3 minutes.

Step 4: Wipe down and dry

Wipe over with a damp sponge then dry your chopping board thoroughly and stand in upright position.

How often should I clean my wooden chopping board?

Wooden chopping boards require maintenance on a regular basis – use a mineral oil or beeswax on a monthly basis to prolong the lifespan of your chopping board.

Can I put wooden chopping boards in the dishwasher?

No, exposure to heat and water for an extended period of time could cause your board to warp, crack, or split.

handwashing wooden chopping board

Unfortunately you can’t put a wooden chopping board in the dishwasher. Picture: Caroline McCredie

Can I soak a wooden chopping board in water?

No, you should never let your wooden chopping board soak in water.

Can I put plastic chopping boards in the dishwasher?

Yes, plastic chopping boards are dishwasher-safe.

Can I use chopping boards for various purposes?

It is recommended that you keep a separate chopping board (or side of a chopping board) for raw meat, poultry, and seafood only. Do not cross contaminate chopping boards. Use one board for fruit and veg, one for meat and one for fish.

differnt chopping board types

Ideally you should have a variety of chopping boards for different food types. Picture: Caroline McCredie

How should I care for my chopping boards?

It’s important to thoroughly dry your chopping boards by placing them upright where air can circulate. This will allow the board to dry out completely, eliminating any further bacteria that can live in moisture.

7 easiest and must-have herbs to grow at home..

7 easiest and must-have herbs to grow at home

If you have a recipe that calls for a combination of flavours it’s easy to clock $10 at the checkout on herbs alone, which isn’t the most financially sustainable way to cook.

The good news is that growing herbs at home is both affordable and accessible – you just need to know what herbs are easy to grow, where to put them and how to take care of them.

With that in mind, here’s our guide to seven of the easiest herbs to grow at home and some essential things you should know before you get started.

Read more: How to grow herbs

1. Basil

Basil is a leafy and fragrant herb that grows beautifully in full sunlight. Basil loves moist but well drained soil and requires lots of pruning when it’s in full season.

When a branch of your basil has seven or eight leaves, it’s time to give it a prune to allow for new growth.

Basil works well in Italian dishes and can be made into pesto pasta sauces or added to salads.

Read more: How to grow basil

Basil pots

What herbs are easy to grow? Basil! What’s more, fresh basil leaves go brilliantly in a salad or pasta. Picture: Getty

2. Coriander

Summer is not ideal for coriander to grow but spring, winter and autumn should see your coriander plant in full bloom.

Coriander plants like sunny spots in the garden, well drained soil, regular watering and fertilising.

When embarking on a journey to learn how to grow herbs in pots, coriander is your go-to. While it also grows well in the ground, coriander makes for an excellent container mate for other plants and herbs. Coriander is a pungent herb that complements Indian and Asian dishes.

coriander growing in pot

Coriander is a great herb to grow in pots. Picture: Getty

3. Rosemary

Rosemary is arguably the easiest herb to grow. If you plant it in a good spot, it will provide you with more rosemary than you’ll ever be able to cook with.

Rosemary plants can grow quite tall and wide but can still live happily in large pots and containers. It can survive well in hot and dry climates so be careful not to over water or over fertilise it.

Rosemary is a hearty herb that works well with winter foods like soups, stews and baked potatoes. 

Read more: How to grow rosemary

Rosemary plant balcony garden

Rosemary is one of the easiest herbs to grow, so even black thumbs can get in on the action. Picture: Erinna Giblin

4. Parsley

If you want to discover how to grow herbs inside, or more importantly, what herbs are easy to grow inside, then look no further than parsley. Not unlike other herbs, parsley flourishes in sunny areas, but it’s a hardy, versatile herb making it one of the easiest herbs to grow in the kitchen. There are two basic varieties of parsley – flat leaf and curly. Both are excellent for cooking, particularly in Italian dishes, and both will grow well in most gardens or containers.

Parsley likes to be planted in spring and needs a moderate to low amount of water and fertilisation.

Read more: How to grow parsley

parsley herb

Growing herbs doesn’t have to be hard work, especially when it’s parsley you’re growing. Picture: Erinna Giblin

5. Lavender

While Lavender isn’t technically a herb, it’s still a wonderful plant to grow as a part of an edible garden. You can use it for baking, making your drawers smell sweet and for adding fragrance to bathroom products.

Lavender loves full sun so make sure you can accommodate its needs before you plant it. Lavender likes a well drained pot, but give it lots of water at least once a week.

If your lavender is growing well it will need pruning regularly to keep it under control – lavender thrives under the right conditions so make sure you keep an eye on it.

Read more: How to grow lavender

growing purple lavender

No garden is complete without a bed of dusky lavender plants. Picture: Three Birds Renovations

6. Chives

Chives like the cold weather so winter is when you’ll get the best out of your chive plants.

If you plant chives under the right conditions they can overwhelm your garden so make sure you keep an eye on any neighbouring plants. Chives love full sun, cool weather and moist soil that’s fertile and well-drained.

Chives are a delicious addition to winter soups and are also fantastic when stirred into dips and sauces.

Read more: How to grow chives

Fresh chives

If you’re looking for how to grow herbs inside, chives is not for you. They love full sun, so keep them outside. Picture: Getty

7. Mint

Keen to start growing herbs and seeing your produce flourish fast? Fragrant and fast growing, mint is an easy-to-grow and very useful addition to an at-home herb garden.

Mint likes a nice mixture of sun and shade and thrives well in gardens, pots and containers. Make sure you place mint plants about 40cm apart to allow for rapid growth and to discourage the roots from over crowding.

Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is a healthy and refreshing drink you can make straight from your garden. Picture: Getty

Mint can be used in a variety of different dishes including salads, stir-frys and even in hot drinks

How to Clean A Rangehood Filter?

 

How to clean a rangehood filter

 

Your rangehood has an important job within your kitchen as it’s designed to remove odours, gas and excess steam that come with preparing a meal, says Chelsea Smith from The Organising Platform. A rangehood also helps remove heat from your kitchen – and this is why it’s super important to keep your filter clean.

Here, Chelsea shares with us a simple, quick and easy way to ensure you keep on top of the cleanliness of your rangehood more frequently.

how to clean a rangehood filter

It’s important to keep your rangehood filter clean so it can continue to do its job. Picture: Ross Campbell

1. Remove the filters from the hood

Carefully take out the filter from the rangehood. Most filters are easy to remove and simply pop out from under the hood.

removing rangehood filter

Remove the filters from the hood. Picture: Ross Campbell

2. Fill a sink with boiling water, baking soda and dish soap

Make sure you have a large enough sink or bucket and fill with hot, soapy water, then add dish soap and 1/4 cup baking soda.

baking soda and detergent

Fill a sink with boiling water, dish soap and baking soda. Picture: Ross Campbell

3. Submerge greasy filters in water

Let the filters soak for 10 minutes in the hot water solution.

soak rangehood filter

Submerge filter and let soak for 10 minutes. Picture: Ross Campbell

4. Scrub the filters

If necessary, and your filters are beyond greasy, use some elbow grease and a scourer or dish brush to scrub away at the filters.

scrubbing rangehood filter

Scrub the filters. Picture: Ross Campbell

5. Place into dishwasher on a hot cycle

Place the filters into the dishwasher and run on a hot cycle – a pots and pans cycle is best if your dishwasher has this function.

Did you know you should also clean your dishwasher? Read our article to find out how.

rangehood filter in dishwasher

Place filters into dishwasher on hot cycle. Picture: Ross Campbell

6. Allow to dry

And, hey presto – leave your filters out to dry naturally and take joy in how shiny and sparkly clean they look.

clean rangehood filter

Allow to dry. Picture: Ross Campbell

How often should you change your rangehood filter?

If you frequently cook on your stovetop you might wish to change your filter every six months. Alternatively, changing the filter once a year should ensure the filter continues to perform at its optimum ability.

rangehood filter cleaning

You should change over your rangehood filter every six to 12 months, depending on how often you cook on your stove top. Picture: Ross Campbell

Can you put your rangehood filter in the dishwasher?

Yes, you certainly can place your rangehood filter in the dishwasher. As the above cleaning hack shows, rangehood filters can be washed thoroughly in a dishwasher – and work best when put on a very hot cycle for pons and pans.

6 Easy Rental Bathroom Decorating Ideas

They should be calm, clean and comfortable. And they should feel like a place all of our own.

In the rental world, however, some bathrooms can be dimly lit boxes devoid of personality, with growing mould and grimy grout.

But the good news is it doesn’t take much to turn a sanitary frown upside down.

greenery in bathroom images

A touch of greenery, some gorgeous towels and features like a ladder can transform a rental bathroom from drab to fab in seconds. Picture: Canningvale

Here are six ways to transform your questionable rental bathroom into an oasis of tranquility, without breaking the bank.

1. Replace the shower curtain

Chances are, your landlord will have used neutral colours to decorate your bathroom, in a bid to boost its popular appeal.

And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with clean white walls and beige furnishings – in fact, they can look pretty spectacular in the right setting – a neutral colour scheme can often feel cold and unwelcoming.

Adding a bold, colourful shower curtain is a great antidote to that feeling – and brings with it the added bonus of reversibility.

ikea shower curtain

Say goodbye to that grotty looking shower curtain – this brightly coloured curtain will inject just the right amount of personality into your bathroom. Picture: IKEA

Read more: How to make the most of a small bathroom

2. Replace the toilet seat

Just like the neutrally coloured shower curtain, the white toilet seat is the default option for most landlords, but it needn’t be for you.

Pick up a wooden seat to add some welcome contrast to your room, or simply buy an affordable new white toilet seat from your local hardware store and replace the old one. Easy.

white-bathroom-and-laundry

This one-bedroom rental apartment at 225/11 Wentworth Street in Manly features a compact and tidy-looking toilet seat and bathroom. Picture: Realestate.com.au/rent

3. Buy a simple bath mat

Adding a simple bath mat from the likes of Kmart, Linen House or IKEA into your bathroom serves a few functions: It hides daggy floor tiles, injects a welcome dose of personality, and keeps your feet warm in winter.

Linen House round bath mat

Tassels and fringing in this stylish bath mat add interest to a rental. Picture: Linen House

4. Accessorise

Adding funky bathroom accessories is the simplest way to personalise a bathroom – or any room, for that matter.

From towels and soap dispensers to toothbrush holders and storage solutions to hold all your bathroom essentials, there are such cool options for bathroom accessories these days – and the best bit is, they’re affordable!

Spend some time deciding what style you want to go for – for example marble vs. timber-look items – then piece the look together for a stylish rental bathroom in no time.

bathroom bargains

With the right bathroom essentials your rental bathroom can function well and look the part. Picture: Eugene Hyland

Read more: Trends in bathroom design

5. Dress up a ladder

Part storage solution, part fashion statement, ladders add a playful touch to any rental bathroom, and are fairly easy to dress up.

Start by hanging a few small plants from one of the rungs and a few hand towels from another.

If you’re tight on space, consider removing the bottom two rungs, so that you can lean the ladder against the wall that’s behind your toilet.

Browse our collection of bathroom ideas

modern bathroom decor

Bamboo ladders are perfect for displaying towels stylishly in a rental. Picture: Kmart

6. Pick up some wicker baskets

Nothing says sophistication quite like contrasting textures, which is why you should consider using rattan or wicker baskets as rubbish bins, storage solutions or ways to display plants.

This is a particularly good idea if you’re trying to create a laidback, coastal aesthetic, as natural textures are a key component of this look.

What’s more, the relaxed pieces are versatile: You can use them to store toilet rolls or toiletries, or as plant pots, to add a touch of greenery.

Wicker baskets make a great storage solution to store towels. Picture: Getty

The Top 10 holiday destinations around Australia you could own..

t’s that time of year when many of us returning to the hum drum of office life contemplate a world without a commute and dream of becoming our own boss.

But even though a sea or tree change is tempting, what about finding work in regional or rural Australia?

MORE: Aussie property prices not close to bottoming out

The costly landlord problem worse than bad tenants

Millionaire sells post office

No one ever said running a holiday business would be easy, but the thought of checking out of the rat race for a slower scene is tempting.

It’s all about deciding whether you’re willing to trade in the traffic jams for making tea and jam for your bed and breakfast guests.

Across the country, there are plenty of accommodation businesses with built in homes and healthy incomes on the market right now.

Here

Your own piece of tranquillity.

WhereThrytomene Court, Halls Gap – Victoria

What: Designed for glamping in the Grampians, this nature-friendly accommodation business known as Down Under Log Cabins features five luxury cabins tucked away on 2ha of native bushland each with their own deck, spa bathroom and barbecue area.

Here

And enjoy the serenity.

Here


How much: $2.2 million (freehold opportunity)

WhereVerrierdale – Queensland

Here

Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

What: High on the hilltops behind Noosa, this lifestyle retreat includes a retro ruby red bus as accommodation, a Hamptons style home, a log house and two timber cabins as well as a yoga and meditation centre. The almost 18ha property also has plenty of room to grow your own organic produce.

How much: More than $2.2 million.

Here

Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

Where7869 Main South Rd, Second Valley – South Australia

Here

Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

What: Leonards Mill dates back to the mid 1800s when it began as a local flour mill. Since its 1984 renovations, the period property on 1ha has been as a restaurant and short term accommodation business.

Here

There are two self-contained studios and the original stables out the back are used as a Zen yoga studio all netting the owners about $68,000 a year.

How much: $795,000 (freehold opportunity)

Where: 23 Welman St, Launceston – Tasmania

Here

Classic old style charm

What: A grand white manor with views over the Tamar Valley, Highfield House is a heritage home built in 1860 for local lawyer William Henty.

Here

Today it’s a b and b business earning up to $180 a night close to the centre of Launceston and 20 minutes from picturesque wine country.

How much: More than $1.7 million

Where75 Thorburn St, Nimbin – New South Wales

Here

Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

What: Rainbow Retreat is far out a wild and wacky place to stay on the outskirts of Nimbin, one hour west of Byron Bay. The 7.43ha estate features a main residence and manager’s office, multiple bungalows, a bathroom block, guesthouse and a flat camping ground for tents and caravans.

Here

One of the multiple quirky holiday homes.

In better times the complex was grossing up to $1200 a day.

How much: Expressions of interest

Here

Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

Where1 Lumeah Rd, Adventure Bay – Tasmania

What: 43 Degrees is an environmentally-friendly accommodation business on popular Bruny Island only 50m from the beach.

Here

Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

Over 1323sq m there are five uniquely-designed and sustainable spa apartments and the business banks about $300,000 over 11 months trade giving the owners a sizeable salary and a whole month off.

How much: $2 million

Where59 Barge Access Rd, French Island – Victoria

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Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

What: Eleanor Estate is a private island hideaway off the beaten track an out of Melbourne.

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There’s plenty of charm in this country-style kitchen.

The 40ha property is shared with koalas, kookaburras and kangaroos and features a six-year-old stone and timber farmhouse, as well as a freehold glamping business with five yurt-like retreats that cost visitors up to $295 a night.

How much: $2.5 million to $2.75 million

Where61 Bicentennial Dr, Agnes Water – Queensland

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Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

What: All up at The Lovely Cottages there are four multi-coloured cabins set on a 2ha site, a classic 1930s Queenslander homestead with a pool plus a further 120-bed camping facility for more accommodation including 12 established glamping tents and a communal dining area.

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Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

Here

Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

The property is 3.5kms from Agnes Water’s main beach and tourist township.

How much: Expressions of interest

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Where274 Mount Burrell Rd, Mount Burrell – New South Wales

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What: Spirit of Gaia is a unique health retreat that sitting peacefully on a 40ha estate west of Murwillumbah and includes a two-bedroom guesthouse and a manager’s cottage.

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The perfect place to relax.

There is also vast space across the property which includes a Thai-themed villa, Bali-themed villa and three glamping tents.

How much: Auction

Where: 206 Harrington St, Hobart – Tasmania

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Here’s your chance to own your own holiday spot

What: Built in 1840 for Father John Joseph Therry, this holy Hobart home is a piece of Tasmania’s history and is now newly renovated. The four self-contained apartments could be a bed and breakfast business, or short term rentals with an income stream earning up to $1200 a week.

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There is also a commercial office with storerooms, lock up and undercover parking as well as workshops and a garden shed.

How much: Expressions of interest

How to Keep your home Safe from Burglars over the Holidays…

How to keep your home safe from burglars over the
We all learned from Home Alone that burglars like to case “joints” left empty during the holidays, prompting little Kevin McCallister to design ingenious homemade booby traps out of feathers, paint cans and Christmas ornaments.

However, new research finds many Australians aren’t so prepared.

A survey of 1000 Australians found that one in 10 admit to leaving their windows and doors unlocked when they go away. Even more people leave their blinds and curtains wide open, with technology and other valuables visible.

“As a nation, our homes are our pride and joy, yet our optimistic nature means we don’t like to think anything could happen while we’re away for the holidays,” says Donna Walker, chief technical officer of Allianz Australia. “Unfortunately, Australians aren’t immune to the risks that come with owning or renting property.”

But they should be a little more cautious. According to 2016 figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, property offences – such as shoplifting, mugging and theft from homes – spike on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

The holidays are attractive to burglars because houses are left empty, people are distracted, and there are expensive gifts lying around. The warm weather means we are also more likely to open windows and doors and forget to close them.

Security cameras installed at home can provide that second pair of eyes over the holidays.

“Thieves will literally steal presents off the backseats of cars and from underneath Christmas trees,” he says.

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There are a few simple steps, however, that Australians can take to protect their property.

Lock all windows and doors with good quality locks, Greaney says, especially side and rear doors that are the most common entry points for burglars.

People leaving their homes empty for the Christmas period should also make sure their home looks occupied at all times.

“Ask a neighbour to bring in your mail and bins if you’re away for a while, and organise to have your lawns mowed,” Greaney says.

Valuable items, such as car keys, wallets and cash, should be removed from plain sight.

Bess Nolan-Cook, RACV’s home program manager, says people should also be wary of leaving cars where thieves can see them.

“If you don’t have access to a carport or garage, parking your car with friends or family is a good alternative,” she says. “If you do need to leave your car parked on the street, we recommend removing valuables or anything with your personal information from the car.”

Home owners can also opt for home security technology, such as alarm systems, to monitor their house while they are away. Alarm systems can be used to deter intruders, and some come with 24/7 monitoring services that connect to emergency services when needed.

Today’s increasingly high-tech home security systems can make your home look like it’s occupied.

“Whether it’s turning lights on and off, automating blinds or turning on your television – a lot of these functions can now be controlled remotely via a smartphone to give you an element of control of your home while you’re away,” says Nolan-Cook.

“If home security is a more serious concern, you can use smart security cameras or a more robust alarm or CCTV system, which allows you to keep an eye on what’s going on at home while you’re away.”

Social media posts during the summer holidays can also expose your family to the risk of theft. You may want your followers to know that you’re at the beach, but a criminal could use that information to their advantage.

“Even the most security-conscious person can accidentally make their absence obvious on social media through posts, photos and check-ins,” says Nolan-Cook. “If you’re heading away for the holidays, update the privacy settings on your social media accounts to ensure your holiday details are only visible to friends.”